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Fabric Printing at Home

Thursday, November 6th, 2014


Julie Booth, one of the members of The Printed Fabric Bee has written a wonderful book about printing on fabric at home. She uses every thing but the kitchen sink – on second thought, I think she probably uses the kitchen sink!! As a surface designer, I always enjoy looking at books with fresh ideas. I really enjoyed going through Julie’s book. It is packed with good information and beautiful photos.

She starts the book with very excellent information about setting up a home printing area and gathering the needed supplies – brushes, paints, and other tools. Scattered through the book are highlighted areas with extra information, tips and photos such as this one on how to make a portable padded print board.


Julie provides a plethora of ideas for using found items and stuff you will find in your kitchen cabinets for resists and printing – such as flour, sugar, veggies, foil. You can also find ways to use things you might normally throw in the trash or recycle bin to print gorgeous fabric.


I especially like this trio of fabrics printed with blocks embellished with rubber bands, twist ties and string or twine. Click on any photo to see it larger,


This piece has a nice textured background that has been over printed using veggies.


You can pre-order the book from Amazon HERE.  Photos are used with permission from Quarry Books.

Inspired to Design

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Inspired to Design Cover


Elizabeth Barton’s book is almost here!! I have an advance PDF copy of the book so that I can tell you all about it. It is no secret that I have long been an admirer of Elizabeth’s work and  her blog. I used to leave comments on her blog that she should just print all her blog posts in a book and sell it – her blog is that good. Early last year I took an on-line class with her and last fall, she came to Portland and did a lecture and workshop for our guild. It was a treat to have a face to face workshop with her.

I received the pdf of her book this morning and I could not put it down. I read through from cover to cover. She covers seven steps that are important for designing a quilt that is also art. You  start with inspirations and design sketches. She shows you how to start with a photo which can be distilled down to the essence in a sketch — discovering how to crop and find the most interesting part and how to leave the extraneous out. I think that many art quilters put too much into their landscapes and scenes taken from photos. I prefer a more simple abstracted look.

The second step is selecting size, shape and structure. Each section has exercises that are clearly explained and just challenging enough to keep you engaged. The third step is depth and space. This is a topic you don’t see covered in many art quilt how to books. She includes many devices for achieving a 3-dimensional illusion.

barton examplepage

The fourth step is that very important element — value. The importance of having a change of value in your work for visual impact can not be overstated. Elizabeth has some great exercises to help. I loved the fifth step chapter on color. Elizabeth covers all the wonders of working with color and how to choose a color scheme.




The sixth step in Elizabeth’s book involves learning how to evaluate your design. Does it convey your main idea? Does it have harmony and unity? And, the seventh step is putting it all together. She covers working from your final sketch, enlarging via the gird method, blocking out the design, fabric selection and some construction methods.

I have only touched on some of the highlights. You can find the book on Amazon and view some of the pages. I would encourage you to do this. You can preorder the book — I think it ships in May.

The best parts of Elizabeth’s book for me are reading her wit and wisdom. This is a woman with a wicked sense of humor and I think it comes through in her writing. The book is also full of her beautiful work. I would want it just to look at her incredible body of work contained in the pages. I wish I had a copy to give away to one of you, but alas, C & T Publishing only sent me a PDF.

On a personal note, I am heading down to California tomorrow with Mr C. I am going to do some shopping for a Mother of the Bride dress on Thursday. On Friday, my daughter-in-law, Jayme, is graduating from Berkeley Medical School with a Master’s Degree in Public Health. She is starting her year of rotations among Bay Area hospitals as an intern and will take the boards in May. We are so proud of her. On Saturday, we will celebrate Paige’s first birthday. I can’t wait to see her and enjoy her happy little personality. It will be a nice family time.

Over the Rainbow

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I have been playing with my rainbow fabrics for the Rhythm and Hues piece. I was not sure what to do for the background, but now I am thinking the darker rainbow will work for the background with maybe some black thrown in.

The morning was spent on my computer doing SDA work. If you are reading this and are a member of SDA, look for an important e-mail tomorrow. Just saying!

I wanted to tell you about a book that I downloaded to the Kindle App on my iPad. It is titled, Journey to Abstraction, by Sue St. John.

It is nicely illustrated with abstract works of art with a play by play of how it was created by the artist. The last section of the book has 4 step by step demonstrations that you can do to create your own mixed media piece.

Here is one of the tips from the author:

Find Shapes and Patterns:
Shapes and patterns are elemental to the abstract artist. In order to paint abstract, you must teach yourself to observe the shapes and patterns in the world. As you go about your daily activities, notice the shapes around you- the triangles in the roof tiles, the spheres in the fruit dangling from a tree, or the free form shapes the shadows of tree branches and leaves make on the sidewalk.

I read most of the book on my flight to and from Long Beach. I was not enthralled with all of the illustrations, but found many that spoke to me.

Here are yesterday and today’s 3 x3. Almost time to pick the next tertiary color!

Back to the Olympics. I sure hate how they are covered. I wish we could see them in real time. Instead we are spoon fed what NBC wants us to see when they want us to see it.

Digital Essentials

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

When this book arrived in the mail, Mr C said  — “Gee, computers and quilts — this is the perfect book for you!!” It is a book for which I have waited for what seems like a long long time! The author, Gloria Hansen, along with her London based partner, Derry, are the designers of my website. They are known as Gloderworks. Gloria is a one woman wickipedia of information about digital images, photo and graphics software, printing on fabric and creating award winning quilts using all of these techniques.

I got to know Gloria on the Quilt Art list. In addition to being a very knowledgeable resource, she has always been more than generous about sharing her knowledge with all of us. I am the kind of person that buys software and then flies by the seat of pants, trying this and that and picking up bits of wisdom and know how when and where I can. Now, I will feel as if I have Gloria right here in my office.

Digital Essentials will be a very handy resource, residing next to my computer. Gloria covers every thing from the tiny pixel to the big picture and everything in between. For those who are saving money by doing their own photography and submitting digital images for juried quilts shows, this book is a must. From calibrating the color management on your computer to removing the background from a quilt, it is all in this handy manual. She covers a variety of software and PC and Mac environments. Want to know how to print better images on fabric? It’s in there.

You can get an autographed copy of the book on Gloria’s website. The web page also has a nice synopsis of all the information that you will find in the book plus a free pdf of the chapter on image protection.